Florida Thespian State Festival: The Colts of Drama Take the Stage in Tampa

Troupe 0704 at the Deerfield Beach train station, ready to take on States 2024!
Troupe 0704 at the Deerfield Beach train station, ready to take on States 2024!
Troupe 0704 at this year’s State Thespian Festival (Mrs. Krantz)

Recently, the Florida Thespian State Festival came to Tampa on the 13th-16th of March. CSHS Thespians had the opportunity to participate in the many workshops that are offered.

Mrs. Krantz, CSHS’s Drama teacher, described the event as “…a huge drama competition for everything from behind the scenes, to playwriting and costume design, to choreography, solo musical, [and] all of the performance aspects.”

The way that the State competition works is,  according to Mrs. Krantz, “…every county in Florida, has multiple district festivals, and you have to score high enough at the district local festival to go to State.”

This year, 21 Thespian students were able to attend States, but as a group, they could only bring six pieces to use for the competition.

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The Thespians of CSHS were up against a total of 6,000 students, as schools from all around the state of Florida participated in States.

Based on their Instagram posts, the CSHS thespians had fun at dance workshops, along with other events, and even took a walk down memory lane when the song, “96,000” (from “In the Heights,” their last production) played during one of their workshops.

Sophia Palhano, a CSHS Thespian who attended this year’s festival, noted the impact that States had on her and her performance skills. Her favorite part of States was getting to participate in the many workshops at the event:

“…it’s (States) not something that we’ve ever experienced before, and you go in and you meet so many new people and you get to work in different conditions, and I come back from States learning so much and I feel like I’m a much more prepared actor, and I’m a much better dancer and much better singer in every way.”

Student dancers from Coral Springs HS’s Drama Club participate in a dance workshop at this year’s State Thespian Festival! (Mrs. Krantz)

States also offer other events along with workshops. Polyano states “You can catch some solos, musical solos, there are a lot of duets, some one-acts… you get to go watch a show and a lot of schools participate in it…

…There are large groups, large group musicals, there’s student choreography so you can see a student who has put all their effort into choreographing one piece…”

Natalia Henry, who is also a Thespian at CSHS, stated that her favorite part of States was “…watching the performances in the evening.”

She also said, “There are certain high schools that get to perform in the evening and I love watching [them]. I got to watch a play, and it was really good, and I got to watch Newsies: The Musical which is also really good.”

States is an excellent opportunity for (beginner) Thespians, or Thespians who have not been able to experience a similar event.

CSHS Thespian Angelina Nazario says that she “…would recommend states to a student who wants to get into theater because you’re constantly learning so much. You’re exposed to professional Broadway performers and other students from other districts allowing you to learn from everyone around you.”

Not only is States a great opportunity to learn and grow as a performer, but it can be a gateway to other outstanding opportunities. At States, Thespians might get lucky, and have the chance to be scouted.

Students Angelina Nazario, Maddie Galan, and Sofia Palhano show off their awards from this year’s State Thespian Festival. (Mrs. Krantz)

Scouting, according to Nazario, “…is unfortunately super random and you really just have to be in the right room at the right time. In order to be recognized you must put your all into every workshop you participate in because you really have no idea who is watching.”

Nazario had the opportunity to be scouted, and won a scholarship along with three other students!

States overall was a wonderful experience for the Thespians of CSHS. And based on the opinions of these Thespians, those interested in the event should definitely consider attending.

One thing to consider about the States is the price of attending. CSHS Thespian Tristan notes that “…if you wanna go, you need to save up because that is expensive. You’re going to Tampa for four days, so you need to pay for the hotels and the food and the train ride (to and back), so just make sure you have the money to go.”

This year’s group of CSHS Thespians had an excellent experience at the Florida Thespian State Festival. Maybe next festival, you can be a part of that experience as well!

For information on participating in state or District events, speak to Mrs. Krantz! For information about the Florida Thespian State Festival, visit: https://floridathespians.com

To see pictures and videos from the CSHS Thespian’s time at States, check out @cshsthespians on Instagram!



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